Shari is the main gateway for the western part of Shiretoko and Utoro Onsen along the Sea of Okhotsk. Most travelers from Abashiri or Kushiro pass through this town, but there are picturesque rural landscape views against the mountains.
Highlights Shiretoko Museum
Tourist Information Shiretoko-Shari Tourist Information Center (知床斜里観光案内センター): Tel 0152-23-2424 / Inside JR Shiretoko-Shari Station, 17 Minato-machi / www.shiretoko.asia
01 LOCAL HISTORY
斜里町立知床博物館 / 1 Konan; 9am-5pm; Closed Mon & holiday Nov-Mar; ¥300 / shiretoko-museum.mydns.jp
This museum contains a lot of artefacts and stuffed animals from Shari to the Shiretoko Peninsula, as well as exhibits on local nature, history and lifestyle.
02 ART MUSEUM
北のアルプ美術館 / 11-2 Asahi-cho / 10am-5pm Jun-Oct, to 4pm May & Nov-Dec / Closed Mon-Tue & late Dec-Feb / FREE / www.alp-museum.org
Once the company dormitory of Mitsui Norin built in 1961, this museum has a collection of Japanese literary magazine Alp (アルプ: 1959-1983), landscape photographs and paintings. You can purchase some beautiful postcards.
TRAIN: Shiretoko-Shari Station (知床斜里駅: tickets 6.30am-6pm) is a gateway for Utoro Onsen and Western Shiretoko. JR Senmo Line runs west to Abashiri (7 daily / 50min) and south to Kushiro (5 daily / 2hrs 20min).
BUS: Shari bus terminal (tickets 8am-5pm) is just outside JR Shiretoko-Shari Station. Shari Bus (sharibus.co.jp) operates regular buses from Shari to Utoro Onsen (4-6 daily / 50min) and some buses continue to Shiretoko Nature Center or Shiretoko Five Lakes on Shiretoko West Coast.
During the high-seasons (mid Jun-early Oct & late Jan-mid Mar), Shari Bus operates Shiretoko Airport Liner to Shari from Memanbetsu Airport (3 daily / 1hr 20min) via JR Abashiri Station (50min), as well as Utoro Onsen.